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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

 I am a property owner in Hounsfield. 

I am adamantly opposed to the Galloo Island Wind Farm. 

To the committee deciding on this application: I am a property owner in Hounsfield. I am adamantly opposed to the Galloo Island Wind Farm.

I would like to add my comments to those of others regarding the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm. It has already been noted that although this project is physically located in the Town of Hounsfield, and therefore they will enjoy any "benefits", it is the Town of Henderson that will suffer the adverse impact.

First, let's examine the supposed benefits:

Lower Energy Costs? This is well proven as unlikely or a fantasy. The cost of Wind generated power is much higher than other forms of power. And certainly lower costs won't be enjoyed locally.

Lower Taxes? Maybe, at least for a few in Hounsfield. But as a property owner there, I don't expect much of significance to come of this. (Sorry, Mr. Scee, your claim that "everyone in your town supports this wind project", is far from accurate. I'd love to see your data. Some of us are stridently opposed.) Even if there are tax benefits for the Town, the amount, duration and costs don't justify it.

Job Creation? One hundred twenty temporary jobs, likely most from out of the area. Eight "permanent" jobs. Wow. Please consider the net job impact...not just these handful of permanent jobs...but also the jobs lost due to the damage to tourism. Tourists are flighty...they'll go other places where the natural beauty hasn't been spoiled with an industrial development in the middle of our beautiful scenery.

For those of us with a direct view to the west of Stony and Galloo (I reside on Stony Point), the impact would be shocking. Some years ago, "National Geographic" listed sunsets on the eastern end of Lake Ontario in the top five in the world. For nearly 60 years, every roll of film we shot included at least a few attempts to capture this beauty for ourselves.

I hate to think that is all the future generations will have...a few photos in some old albums to see that natural beauty as they look out across the water at silhouetted wind towers chopping up the light from the sun. For them, if this progresses, their memories will be of irritating flashing beacons on these towers, instead of breath-taking sunsets. Silence of winter's mornings will be replaced by screeching of motorized bearings and pulsing of blades.

I still remember the awe my now-deceased brother expressed the summer he saw a rare "green flash" sunset. This is one of the rarest events experienced anywhere; sometimes you hear of this from Australia. But we can see them here. Why spoil this?

And, in twenty years time...what will a decommissioned wind farm look like?

Twenty years may seem like a long time, but is it?

And if you consider all energy costs in manufacturing, transporting, constructing and maintaining the components of this wind farm is there really a beneficial net gain in energy savings (carbon footprint)? What if you add in the real costs of the damage to the land by clearing and preparing the building site. Everyone should understand that once disturbed, the land will never be the same! From the influx of disturbance plants (most of us call them weeds and invasives) to the changes in wildlife habitat, what is done, cannot be undone.

My family has had a continuous presence in this area since shortly after the Revolutionary War. We have been at or near our present location since the early 1920's. It was the raw beauty of this land that drew the early settlers here, and it is STILL that which draws us back. We have paid dearly over the years to hold on to what we have, and I'd truly hate to lose it. The beauty and peace of our natural setting is a precious thing to have taken from us for the relatively short term benefit for a few individuals.

And yes, we would also lose our peace. As anyone who remembers the foghorn on Galloo can tell you, sound travels over water in a very different manner than over land. Conversations from fisherman are easily overheard (Note to fishermen...when the wind is quiet, we can hear you easily...so be careful what you say). The drone of a Laker in the distance...even if not visible..can be heard passing out front. We fear the sound of these turbines will be travel similarly, at great distances without geometric losses. It's as if the layers of the atmosphere keep the sound waves low and along the surface of the water under certain conditions.

Even my 99 year old father can hear the sounds of motors or generators running on Stony Island under certain conditions (this is about 4 miles away). These generators are tiny relative to the nacelles on an Industrial Wind Turbine.

Environmental noise pollution is a topic of study unto itself and I desperately do not want to be an unwilling participant in a long-term study of adverse health effects caused by these huge towers.

I could go on also about the conflict between a potential wind farm and the re-introduction of the Bald Eagle to our area (we have nesting pairs here on Stony Point) as well as the dangers to migratory birds and others. but I'll leave that to the experts (who already have submitted comments).

I would like to conclude by thanking you for allowing me to have a say and asking that you reach a decision that will allow my father and me to enjoy what time we have left in the beauty and peace of what makes the Golden Crescent region truly golden.

PS for those of us who remember the repeated, and failed, efforts to run a power cable from Stony Point to Stony Island...all I can say is good luck with the much longer run to Oswego. Ice and waves makes for lots of abrasion.

Sincerely, Karen Tiano

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